"Australia" was released by Manic Street Preachers on 2 December 1996, and was the fourth and final single release from the Everything Must Go album of May that same year. The sentiment of the song is that Australia is just about the furthest one can go to get away from their home in Wales and is a metaphor for Nicky Wire's desire to escape from the emotional turmoil caused by the disappearance of his close friend and co-lyricist, Richey Edwards.
The first CD included "Velocity Girl", "Take the Skinheads Bowling" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (all three songs being cover versions of songs originally performed by Primal Scream, Camper Van Beethoven and Frankie Valli, respectively) and the cassette featured a live recording of "A Design for Life". The lack of original Manics material for the single's extra tracks was attributed to Nicky Wire having a case of writers block, as he approached writing material for the band's next album. He put the block down to the fact that it was the first time he had written a whole album without Richey's help. All 3 of the CD cover versions would later feature on the Lipstick Traces compilation album in 2003 (although "Take the Skinheads Bowling" was re-recorded).
On 14 December 1996, "Australia" reached number seven in the UK charts in, giving the Manics their fourth straight top ten hit. It also made an appearance as track number seven on Forever Delayed, the band's greatest hits album, released in November 2002.
In October 2011, NME placed it at number 150 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".